Transformation in Modern Myth
few films have placed the notion of personal transformation
into the public mind and thereby given the idea possibility
and credibility. Perhaps the most famous of these is Dickens'
"Scrooge". Shakespeare showed us painful transformation
in the form of King Lear. It is interesting that in "King
Lear", The Fool carries the higher awareness of self
for the king.This is much like today's comedians who often
carry the unrealized truths for those in power.
The 1950's produced an array of hero films that portrayed
the voyages of personal courage and transformation in such
stories as "Demetrius and the Gladiators" and the
quintessential cowboy film, "Shane". The Film "Groundhog
Day" carries a similar theme into the modern context.
The lead character in that film is given the chance to try
out many possibilities with the same series of repeated events
until the final combination results in his transformation
into a loving and wise individual. Perhaps the most unusual
personal transformation comes to a dying Darth Vader in the
"Star Wars" episodes. Here is a man almost completely
given over to the 'darker' side of himself, and who is somehow
able to summon the desire to make a 360° shift as his
only son's life hangs in the balance.
"V for Vendetta" takes this a bit further and shows
us a society corrupted by high level government deceit and
mass murder. The notion of unimaginable state sponsored terror
is both unmasked and abolished by uncommon courage and alliances.
This disturbing story is the most recent and compelling entry
for societal self discovery to hit the mass mind. Can it be
preparing the public mind for something similar?